ARB Moves to Reduce Emissions from Portable Gas Cans
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today adopted a new regulation that reduces by over 70 percent the smog-forming emissions from portable gas cans.
"Our research shows that these cans are a major source of pollution," said ARB Chairman Dr. Alan Lloyd. "Today's action gets us moving toward reducing these emissions, and better protecting consumers," Dr. Lloyd added.
The regulation mandates a number of changes in gas cans and gas can spouts sold in California starting January 1, 2001. The regulation does not affect gas cans purchased before 2001. Based on industry and government data, it is estimated that there are 9.8 million gas cans in California, with about 1.9 million new cans sold each year in the state. The complete replacement of existing gas cans is anticipated by 2007.
Portable gas cans now account for about 87 tons per day (TPD) of reactive organic gases (ROG) escaping into California's air. Without the new regulation, that number would grow to 96 TPD by 2010. However, the new regulation means ROG emissions will be reduced by 73 percent, cutting emissions to 26 TPD by 2010.
Currently, gas cans contribute smog-forming emissions in at least five ways:
- Evaporation and spillage during transportation and storage.
- Spillage and/or over-filling as fuel is being dispensed.
- Permeation of vapors through walls of plastic containers.
- Spillage and evaporation through secondary vent holes.
- Vapors escaping while fuel is being dispensed.
The ARB regulation deals with these problems by requiring all containers and spouts to have a shut-off feature preventing fuel tank overfilling. The spouts must also have an automatic closing feature so cans will be sealed when not in use. Secondary venting holes will be eliminated and vapor permeation must be reduced to no more than 0.4 grams of ROG per gallon per day.